What's all the excitement about?

Getting primary sources has become much easier.

ACGS has purchased the electronic version of the Drouin Collection. We are the first in the United States to have it!

What is it?

Jean-Pierre Pepin of Longueuil, QC bought the defunct 'Drouin Institute' from the founders' grandson, Claude Drouin about five years ago. Included in the purchase was the entire microfilm collection of parish registers for the Province of Quebec, some from the Province of Ontario, the Maritimes, Acadia, some notarial acts and hundreds of other documents. The collection has about 2,400 reels of microfilm - a collection we contemplated buying a few years ago.

Now Mr. Pepin has converted these 2,400 reels of microfilm into 3.5 million scanned images, occupying over a terabyte of hard disk storage. When possible, the images were enhanced during the scanning process so that the scanned image is actually easier to read than the original microfilm. These are images of approximately 20 million baptism, marriage and burial acts from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries!

What is the advantage of the electronic format?

No more reading film on microfilm readers! No more microfilm files! We can print to paper or drag and drop the image file, in jpeg format, onto a disk. The files are organized into an efficient directory structure so that any one of the 3.5 million images can be accessed with a small number of mouse clicks. This opens up these priceless primary sources to everyone, either by visiting our library or requesting specific images through our research department. The jpeg image allows the user to view it in a large number of viewing programs. Images can be cropped to show just the specific baptism, marriage, or burial act of interest. The file can be imported into most genealogy programs. Imagine having an image of the act right in your database!

Some typical images from the new Drouin Collection:

Baptism of Josephine Rosa Tetreault ? 18 February 1884 in Dunham, PQ

Marriage of Jacques Miville and Catherine Baillon - 12 November 1669, Quebec, PQ

Death record of Pierre Miville 15 October 1669 - Quebec, PQ

This is probably the largest ethnic collection of primary sources available to the general public today. There are several societies in Canada and in the United States who have the microfilms available to their members, including the first society to own the films in the United States, the American-French Genealogical Society in Woonsocket, RI. The New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston was the first to buy a copy of these 2400 reels of microfilm from AFGS, quickly followed by the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN. As much as we wanted to purchase this film collection five years ago, we opted to 'wait and see.' The Pepin version of the digitized Drouin microfilm collection is here. ACGS owns a copy. We now offer these images to anyone wishing to access them on our library. T

For those individuals who cannot visit our library, requests for copies of records can be submitted obtained through our Research Department.

Last Updated: 10/02/10